Great B2B Marketing

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How to Rejuvenate a Troubled B2B Brand

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Are you doing it for less than stellar reasons: e.g. you are personally tired of your brand, or can you show how the company will benefit economically from the time-consuming and expensive rebranding exercise? Two months ago, I wrote an article titled The Economic Value of Your Company Brand. The first major category is where you change the name and everything else. Live the brand position.

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Six Fast Ways to Improve Your B2B Copy

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Make it more about you, than I.  To put this another way, you should always talk to the person, not at the person. Regardless of how many people view the communication, your B2B copy should be written in such a way that it seems personal, not a mass distribution. Don’t let your personal preferences dictate your message.  Write to be understood, not to impress.

Lower the Cost and Boost the Productivity of B2B Sales

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Last month, David Brock, president of Partners in Excellence, published an excellent article titled A Frightening Look At the Cost Of a Sales Person.  Brock recounted some statistics that should disturb senior sales executives, as well as their CEOs and CFOs. For example: The average tenure of a salesperson from the time they start a job to the time they leave is less than two years (Sales Readiness Group). The average tenure of a sales manager is 19 months. 58% of reps make quota (CSO Insights). Talk about a recipe for heartburn.  And only 58% reach quota. Lack of training.

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The Economic Value of Your Company Brand

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People have a sense that when they do business with you, they get some personal benefit out of it. I was a guest speaker for The Center for Business Modeling at a video/podcast on a subject near and dear to my heart: the economic value of a brand. Following is a summary of what I said on the podcast. Actually, a strong brand has a monetary value. It offers a clear and compelling benefit.

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B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Better targeting, retargeting, and website personalization will replace the omnivore approach. Steve Rayson, Director, BuzzSumo [link] B2B Marketing Trends for 2016 8 Take Content Marketing to the Next Level Personalize Marketing with the ICE Formula Personalized marketing is going to be on steroids in 2016. So, how do you personalize marketing? B2B Marketing. Look for.

How to be a Great B2B Marketing Coach

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Sometimes, what a person is good at is not what you hired them to do. In honor of Super Bowl week, I thought I would explore just what it takes to be a great B2B marketing coach. Hopefully you won’t have to deal with issues like injuries and deflated footballs. Here are six strategies to help you accomplish this: Don’t keep running the same plays. Don’t practice a “Prevent” Defense.

How to Find Elusive B2B Buyers

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This is why they don’t answer the phone and why they use personal email addresses to download your online offers that don’t reveal their company name, address and phone numbers. Picture the couple who sees the sales person walking up the driveway and hides to avoid answering the door. Okay, it’s time for a little honesty. How many of your potential buyers want to hear from you on an unsolicited basis?  How many are glad that you called when they weren’t expecting to hear from you? The answer to all these questions is the same. Robo-call messages that were undecipherable.

Eyeball Share Leads to Wallet Share

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The reason to establish yourself through social media and pull marketing is not to avoid personal selling but rather to lay the groundwork that makes selling easier. One of my favorite bloggers is Paul Castain, who produces excellent content for the Sales Playbook website.  Here are a few of the statistics Castain points out: 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done online (SeriusDecisions).

Sales and Marketing Plans Need to be Aligned

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In this scenario, direct sales reps will only see leads that have been pre-qualified, usually by a business development rep (BDR) who has personally qualified inquirers by asking a series of questions about budget, authority, timing and so forth. As a B2B marketing outsource provider, my team and I usually work very closely with the sales department at our client companies.

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B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Better targeting, retargeting, and website personalization will replace the omnivore approach. Steve Rayson, Director, BuzzSumo [link] B2B Marketing Trends for 2016 8 Take Content Marketing to the Next Level Personalize Marketing with the ICE Formula Personalized marketing is going to be on steroids in 2016. So, how do you personalize marketing? B2B Marketing. Look for.

Do You Need to Recombobulate Your B2B Marketing?

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If your business is dependent on a personal selling model while your potential customers are educating themselves and buying online, you are going to experience declining results unless you change your strategies and tactics. Bear with me a bit and I will explain the odd title of this post. read an interesting tweet from Moira Geary , who gave herself the moniker of “Recombobulator.”

B2B Marketing: Six Need-to-Know Nuggets

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And if you happen to be a starving artist type and are enthralled with what you do every day despite the lack of remuneration, you may be happier than the person with a large bank account who hates his or her job. Sometimes there’s just too much going on for a single-topic post! Growth in Technology. He is the real deal, with an impressive career spanning technology, marketing and finance.

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B2B Appeals that Motivate Action

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While greed is usually thought of as a negative emotion, it is really just the desire to get a better deal than the next person, or to enhance our position at a low cost. Napoleon Bonaparte said, “There are two levers for moving men: interest and fear.” ” These are indeed the two master motivators, and all others are subset of these behavioral drivers.

B2B Social Media: To Connect or Not to Connect

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An example of this type of person is a LinkedIn LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) who basically says that they will accept a connection from anyone, anywhere, regardless of whether that person has had any prior contact. Likewise, a person who encourages you to friend them on Facebook just because they follow you on Twitter fits this open networking mold. Are you responsible? 

8 Reasons Why We Fail to Make the B2B Sale

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And you have to show the prospect that not only the risk to their company but also their personal risk (e.g. I mostly write about B2B marketing issues, but am often asked by my clients to consult on issues related to sales performance. One of my key mantras is that you must have your B2B marketing and sales plans and processes fully aligned. You haven’t sold the value. You fail to follow up.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Better targeting, retargeting, and website personalization will replace the omnivore approach. Steve Rayson, Director, BuzzSumo [link] B2B Marketing Trends for 2016 8 Take Content Marketing to the Next Level Personalize Marketing with the ICE Formula Personalized marketing is going to be on steroids in 2016. So, how do you personalize marketing? B2B Marketing. Look for.

Would Writing a Book Help You and Your Business?

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This can lead to not only greater awareness and credibility for your personal brand, but also speaking and writing opportunities. I just published my fifth book, Winning B2B Marketing.  Being a glutton for punishment, I seem to get the urge to do this every five years or so. So let’s start with the reasons why you may not want to write a book: It takes a lot of time. You won’t make money.

Commerce Interrupted – Four Barriers That Stop Your Prospects from Becoming Customers!

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Whether you sell online, by phone or in person, your bottom line will benefit from shortening the time it takes your prospects to go through the entire transaction cycle.   There are three primary objectives of a marketing campaign: Find qualified prospects (potential buyers). Create desire within these prospects to purchase your product or service. Remove all barriers to the purchase process. Many B2B and B2C companies do a good job at the first two objectives. They also know how to write clever promotional copy and create compelling offers. it’s canned or off-target).

B2B Lead Management – 6 Best Practices

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Leads have a short shelf and the person who was enthusiastic about your offer yesterday, may not remember who you are tomorrow.  Some companies are good at generating B2B sales leads , others are good at qualifying and closing those leads, but the top performing companies, are those that leverage B2B lead management techniques and can do both.  Here are six strategies you can implement to create your own unstoppable marketing and sales machine: Follow up every inbound inquiry within 48 hours – preferably 24 hours.  Set-up a service level agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales. 

B2B Pull Marketing Takes the Guesswork Out of Timing

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Use pull marketing strategies that make it easy for them to buy; meet them (online, by telephone, or in person) wherever they are in their buying journey and nurture them to an inevitable decision to do business with you. Daily business life for the marketer or sales person is much easier and more effective when it is based on the natural timing of the buyer’s sales cycle.

Focus on Productive B2B Marketing and Sales Activities

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We all know of co-workers who brag about how hard they work and how many hours they put in – but if you analyze their results, they produce no more (sometimes less) than those who work fewer but more focused, hours. I’d rather be the former type of person, and spend the saved time with my family – I bet you would as well. Like many of you, I am in the middle of the process of strategizing how to best achieve my 2015 objectives, which include optimizing results for my family, business, friendships, activities, and so forth. Going to meetings that seldom accomplish anything.

Marketing Resolutions for 2014

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Perhaps you are in the process of setting your personal resolutions for 2014: lose a few pounds, run a marathon, learn to speak a new language, and so forth. Unless the issues were serious, this doesn’t usually require an emotional in-person or phone talk. According to the annual Harris poll, only about eight percent of personal New Year’s resolutions are fulfilled.

Good Advice (And Why You’re Not Taking It)

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Counselors refer to this as “choosing to be right instead of happy.” In the business world we refer to this as “choosing personal preferences over profits.”. Like many others, I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s blog for quite some time. Seth has a way of getting to the point quickly and many of his posts are 100 words or less. For example, he wrote the following about the importance of accepting advice: “Good advice…is priceless. Not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. Not imaginary, but practical. Not based on fear, but on possibility. Marketing Marketing Advice

How To Protect Your B2B Marketing Budget

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Don’t take it personally. In a recent discussion on the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) LinkedIn network, Art Hyde asked this question: How do you keep your marketing budget from being cut by the CFO while every other line-item is untouched? There is a lot of interest about this issue in the B2B marketing community, for good reason.  No one likes to see their budget cut, especially if they (fairly or not) perceive this as a sign of waning influence.  Budgets are cut for all sorts of reasons, some rational and some not. Here are some ideas: Tie your budget directly to revenue.

Is Social Media a Marathon or a Sprint? – by Christopher Ryan

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This goes on for a few weeks or months until the person quits when they figure out the social media didn’t produce much results in terms of generating awareness, leads and revenue.   I have seen a repeated pattern when it comes to using social media in B2B marketing.  A company executive or marketing manager drinks the social media Kool-Aid and decides to make it a big part of their pull marketing strategy.  The next thing you know, he or she is posting, tweeting, responding, bookmarking and otherwise fully engaged in every social networking outlet they can find.  Happy New Year.

Marketing Game Changers for 2013

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Also ask whether telephone sales can replace in-person, or the web can replace either method. It’s the season for wrapping up the old year and prepping for the next. hope you are as excited about the potential of the coming year as I am, particularly as it pertains to how you can transform your marketing organization. Here are six ideas to get you started: 1. Understand your sales lead requirements. Tune or replace your sales model. Even if you are relatively satisfied with your go-to-market model, there are probably ways that you can tweak it for better results. The Happy New Year!

Can We Please Tell the Truth in Our Marketing Communications?

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received a personalized letter in an official-looking envelope from a company called: ABC Shareholder Services (real name not used to protect the guilty). Claiming that the offer is personal. This post was inspired by a negative marketing event. Perhaps I am an optimist by nature; I made the call. He actually had a point. Claiming that the product or service is free.

Social Media Marketing: What Not to Do

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You put a lot of time and effort into positioning your company as a leader in the industry and keeping your personal reputation clean. I’ve written a lot about the subject of what you need to do to be successful in social media and pull marketing.  The other side of this coin is a list of things that are harmful or counterproductive – in other words, stuff you should refrain from doing. Don’t become a nuisance.  Communicating with people who have opted-in to receive your messages is a privilege. Don’t abuse that privilege by constantly badgering your audience. Don’t constantly sell.

In B2B Marketing, Everything Counts

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Be personal. When approaching a prospect, customer, or potential employer, take a little extra time to personalize your communications. Learn about the company or person you are dealing with and craft a unique message. Even a small bit of personalization beats the mass promotion or generic resume approach. So how does this lesson apply to B2B marketing? Glad you asked!

When It Comes to Marketing, You are Not Your Prospect

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One of the issues I face as a B2B marketing services provider is the “personal preference” challenge. At this point, I want to remind the executive that he or she is not the prospect, so how they personally feel about the campaign should not be the primary factor on whether we should launch it. In other words, results are way more important than personal preferences. You don’t have to be a marketing services consultant to face the personal preference challenge. What does matter is how it is perceived by the target market, and to what degree they respond to our offer.

Who is Sitting in the Marketing Chair? – A Quick Marketing Leadership Assessment

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From the perspective of the CEO, how does your company stand in comparison to the following five scenarios? (Of course, if you are the senior marketing person in your organization, you may want to consider how your CEO would describe you and your contribution to revenue and the overall success of the organization.) This can be due to either the lack of expertise (or ineptitude) of the person in the marketing hot seat or micromanaging by the CEO. Find a really good marketing person and get your company moving. The list goes on.  Scenario 2: Underperforming or underreporting?

How to Expand Your Circle of Marketing Influence by Christopher Ryan

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The Inner Circle includes is the Key Influence group including employees, partners, customers, active prospects, personal contacts, and blog contributors.  Those nearest to the core are loyal, lifetime customers, prospects in active sales cycle and others that you have direct influence on. Those farthest away do not even know that you exist.

How to Build Company Value in a Down Economy

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This potential extends beyond mere market share: It is the ability to inspire everyone around you — your clients, your leadership team, your investors and employees — with a realizable vision of prosperity and personal fulfillment. The macro economy is what it is, and most of us have little impact on this. They have a value proposition and brand promise that is both unique and compelling.

Lead Retargeting – How to Revitalize Your B2B Contact List

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It’s not unusual to have contact lists stored in multiple locations like CRM systems, personal databases, Microsoft Outlook, marketing automation applications and so forth. I write a lot about how to generate B2B leads.  Usually, the context is to target new prospects, individuals or companies who have not previously responded to a lead gen offer. While marketing to fresh prospects is certainly important, there may be a gold mine available right beneath your feet – your existing contact list. By this, I mean you will get a lower cost per inquiry and lower cost per customer acquisition.

Marketing Can Be Amusing

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This item from the hubspot.com blog is related to the previous anecdote: Q:What’s a personality trait of a bad marketer?  A: Anti-social. Marketing is a serious subject at most companies. After all, the marketing department is only one step removed from the sales department and revenue generation—the lifeblood of all businesses. While this is not amusing, there is some comedy in our daily marketing lives and the various misconceptions about the practice. Here are a few examples: • During a meeting a CEO once asked us: “Why do we need any more than a home page on our web site?” 

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Outside-the-Box B2B PR Strategies

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Make it personal – There are two important ways to make your PR personal. Communicate in the spirit of a person talking to another person, not as a company talking to nameless and faceless prospects. The second part of being personal is to base your PR on a key executive who has special and acknowledged expertise in your chosen market. . One of the best examples of a fun personality combined with great business acumen is Herbert D. Every B2B company has its own identity, target market and products or services.  But all have one thing in common. 

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Five Ways You Can Get Big Value from LinkedIn

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Not that you shouldn’t reach out personally as often as possible, but this is difficult if you have a large number of connections. I talk about social media quite a bit in my blog posts, articles and conference presentations.  Social media is a key component of a viable pull marketing mix, and should be part of most companies’ go-to-market strategy. You might even go viral. 

Three Essential Content Marketing Practices

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always found Bryant to be sharp, focused, and a person who is good at grasping and presenting the essentials of complex topics in a way that makes them useful to his readership. Content Marketing Essentials. When I served on the AIM board, I occasionally had dealings with Bryant Duhon, the organization’s editor and community manager. Bryant’s latest post is a great example.

B2B Trade Show Marketing Circa 2013: Everything is the Same, Everything is Different

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Personnel who can customize quality demos on the fly are invaluable, and the job of the other folks at your booth should be to make sure the demo person stays busy! Last week, I attended a major technology conference on behalf of a B2B software client. Here are a few observations. What is the same: Booth giveaways can still attract an audience. Almost every vendor at the show I attended had a giveaway offer of some type. More often than not, the drawing was for something like an Apple iPad Mini or smartphone. Differentiation is still a challenge. Trust me on this one. ROI is crucial.

10 Winning B2B Marketing Habits to Adopt in 2011

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It’s been a while since I have neglected to end a year without doing some type of planning and goal setting for my business (or whatever company I was working for at the time) and my personal life.  Like the saying goes, it’s hard to hit a target you don’t have, and goal setting is the best way to establish those targets. Perhaps you are equally committed to goal setting. Likewise, you have some areas that can benefit from the Japanese practice of kaizen, which stands for constant, never-ending improvement. You Habit 2:  Embrace your challenges. Cost to acquire a customer. Chris Ryan.